Written by: Tom Beach, Executive Director & Vice President of The Toolbox, Inc. and Video Director at the October 22 Non-profit Toolbox event.
Yes, you do. Why else are you reading this?
I was out at a networking event last night and I heard another company (like so many others) offering to help with Social Media. I applaud this. We also offered to help them with Social Media well over a year ago, apparently they didn’t need our help and decided to figure it out on their own. They come from a traditional marketing and PR background and are now just starting in the Social Media frenzy. So they are learning with the rest of us.
We don’t hold ourselves out to be experts because we don’t believe that there are any, just some people and companies that seem to have a great understanding of this new medium and have implemented some strategies well. So with that in mind I thought I’d share what Social Media is and can do for you and your company.
How Social Media works is completely inverted from traditional marketing and PR.
In traditional Marketing and PR you run campaigns, you talk with top down messages to your potential customers, you rarely interact with your customers.
Social Media is about community building in niche markets, interacting with members of the community, listening and building relationships. The most successful people share their information freely and actively help promote other community members that share great information. Success usually doesn’t happen quickly.
Law of the Farm vs. Law of School
In Dr. Stephen Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People he writes about the law of the farm vs the law of school. Basically in school you can wait until the last minute, cram for and exam and do well. On a farm this doesn’t work. You can’t wait until just before the harvest to plant the crop, you have to work the fields over time. This is true of Social Media. You have to work it over time, consistently, to be able to reap the benefits.
From our perspective using Social Media tools like, Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and blogging accomplishes two main objectives. The first is to increase your presence on the web and make you easier to be found. The second is to grow your network and community around you by creating valuable content for this community. If you would like to learn more about effective social media marketing we recommend following people like HubSpot, David Meerman Scott, Chris Brogan for a start. We do, and we are still learning everyday.
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